The Canary Saharawi Forum demands explanations for the presence of Brahim Ghali in Spain

In an official statement, the entity expresses that the arrival of the leader of the Polisario Front on Spanish territory is full of "deception and subterfuge" and denounces the lack of transparency of the Spanish government
Brahim Ghali, secretary general of the Frente Polisario

 -   Brahim Ghali, secretary general of the Frente Polisario

The Canary Saharawi Forum has issued an official statement in which it rejects the presence of Brahim Ghali, leader of the Polisario Front, hospitalised in a hospital in Logroño as various media have been publishing, to be treated despite having outstanding accounts with the justice system for alleged crimes of genocide and terrorism, as denounced by associations such as the Saharawi Association for the Defence of Human Rights (ASADEDH). The Forum criticises the Spanish government for the opacity of information on this issue. 

Full text of the statement of the Canary Saharawi Forum on the situation of Brahim Ghali:

Two weeks have passed since Brahim Ghali's arrival in Spain, full of deception and subterfuge, with the complicity of the Spanish government and in collusion with the Algerian government and the Polisario Front, we denounce that, even today, many unknowns remain unanswered about everything surrounding this case and the person in question, the Spanish government being the main responsible for this information blackout.

In any case, we at the Canary Saharawi Forum welcome the first steps being taken by the judiciary in this regard in recent days. We welcome the news of a new complaint, which is added to the previous facts already denounced (ACAVITE, Jadiyetu Mohamed and ASADEDH), made by Fadel Breica, a Saharawi of Spanish nationality, and victim of various human rights violations during his captivity in 2019 along with other Saharawis in the so-called 'case of the bloggers'.

However, we eagerly await the reopening of the main case that has been active in the National Court since 2007, which, contrary to what has been said by the Polisario, is not closed but under ''provisional classification'', mainly as a result of the rogatory commission requested from Algeria by the National Court, and which will obviously never be fulfilled, given the Algerian ties with the Polisario.

This main case, originally brought by the ASADEDH association and by three individuals (Saadani Maoulainine, Hosein Baida and Dahi Aguai), is the one that we believe has the best chance of success, not because the facts of the rest of the complaints are less serious, but because it is the one with the longest procedural trajectory. In fact, according to the lawyers who have been handling this case since 2007, there is more than enough evidence (witnesses, experts, etc.) to more than justify an investigation and conviction of Brahim Ghali. In this regard, we must not forget the list of judges, holders of this court, who have handled this case, from Baltasar Garzón to José de la Mata, passing through Pablo Ruz to the current judge, Santiago Pedraz.

On the other hand, we reject the silence and opacity shown from day one by the Executive and specifically by its Ministry of Foreign Affairs in relation to this case. This exercise in lack of transparency has repercussions, not only on relations with our neighbour Morocco, but also on the image of Spain abroad, giving shelter to a person whose record of human rights violations has been amply proven, with many of his victims being Spanish nationals.

In this regard, we still do not know, and we request to know, which was the airport through which he entered Spain, whether the Government's permission for him to enter Spain and the use of a false identity go hand in hand, or whether the latter was a unilateral decision by the aforementioned Ghali, presumably with the aim of evading justice. If the latter is the case, how the government can continue to be a party to it.

Fórum Canario Saharaui

It is regrettable that the little information released on the case comes from the progressive investigations being carried out by Judge Pedraz, while the person who has to show his face and explain all the details of this ill-advised and irrational episode hides under the umbrella of these judicial proceedings.

Likewise, we believe that the excuse given by the outside world regarding "humanitarian reasons" and the "privacy of the patient" for not providing information is rather poor. For example, we have learned in a few hours how politician Ángel Gabilondo, after suffering a health mishap, has been admitted to hospital, as well as his specific ailment following a statement by the doctors who attended him to the media, including the presence of the president of Madrid, Isabel Díaz Ayuso. We therefore believe that Ghali's medical situation is no minor matter; he is an international public figure. In addition to his victims, tens of thousands of Saharawis on whom he depends want to know about his condition, something of general interest that clashes with the pretext put forward by the authorities about the patient's privacy.

Likewise, given the way in which the aforementioned Ghali entered Spain, full of falsehoods and on the sly, and under the risk that he may use the same methods and modus operandi to leave the country, we urgently request Brahim Ghali to be placed under strict police surveillance, already under investigation once he has been identified at the San Pedro Hospital in Logroño, in order to prevent him from evading justice again, since he will reportedly testify before Judge Pedraz on June 1 at the National Court. It should not be forgotten that in November 2016 Ghali cancelled at the last minute a planned trip to Barcelona for a similar purpose, given that Judge De La Mata summoned him on those dates.

Finally, we would like to highlight the commitment of this Canary Saharawi Forum throughout its existence since 2007 in denouncing the various human rights violations surrounding the figure of Brahim Ghali, as well as in giving a voice to his victims, whether with the cases of the Canarian fishermen and workers of Fos Bucraa murdered during the black decade under the command of the aforementioned Ghali, widely denounced by ACAVITE, as well as in the cases of Jadiyetu Mohamed, and the other cases of human rights violations related to such an infamous character. The newspaper archives contain numerous publications on the subject, as well as our interventions in other types of face-to-face events that we have organised or participated in. This is how it has been, and will continue to be in the future until one of the darkest, most despicable and bloodthirsty characters in Sahrawi history is brought to justice.